Rangers considered to have “inside track” on Jose Abreu

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Ben Badler of Baseball America, who covers the international prospect world better than anyone, has a lengthy new article about Cuban slugger Jose Abreu and his “green light” to sign after being cleared by MLB.

Quite a few teams have been linked to Abreu by various reports, but Badler rates the Rangers as his most likely landing spot. It makes sense, as first base has been a weak spot and the Rangers have certainly shown a willingness to shell out big money for high-profile international players in Yu Darvish. Badler also notes that the Rangers have a good relationship with Abreu’s agency.

He also lists the Red Sox, Pirates, Nationals, and White Sox as possible suitors and, while not named by Badler, the Giants and Marlins have also been mentioned in connection to Abreu frequently by other sources.

The Mariners have made an offer to bring back Hisashi Iwakuma

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Hisashi Iwakuma tells the Japan Times that the Mariners have made him an offer to return.

Iwakuma became a free agent earlier this month after the Mariners, not surprisingly, declined his $10 million option for 2018. Iwakuma says that it’s “not a done deal,” but “hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon.”

Iwakuma, who turns 37 early next season, made only six starts in 2017, posting a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He went on the disabled list in May and never returned to action, undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery in September. He hopes to be recovered fully by spring training.